Chapters - well versed


Brockley Central loves a good walk and often eschews public transport in favour of a hearty weekend stroll to a foodie destination, if only as an excuse to order extra pies at the other end of the trip. Regular destinations include Lordship Lane (usually Franklins), Greenwich (The Rivington and/or the Picture House) and, on particularly worthy days, Borough Market.

Often, routes are selected via the usually reliable walkit.com, although the 'urban walking route planner' rather blotted its copybook this past weekend. Having previously provided a 'low pollution' route to Borough via various pleasant corners of South East London including Southwark Park and a good stretch of the Thames Path, on Saturday it spat out a route that wasn't so much low-pollution as low-will-to-live: there can't have been many Rotherhithe sink estates not touched by this particular route. Next time intstructions will be treated with a bit more skepticism. Old fashioned maps may even be consulted. No matter: a restorative coffee in the rather lovely Blueprint Café quickly dispelled the gloom.

Another occasional destination for these weekend jaunts is Blackheath, which not only boasts an excellent farmers' market in the station car park every Sunday but also has a very decent crop of restaurants. Alongside the compulsory Pizza Express and Café Rouge are some real gems, including Bella Vista (top quality Italian that will provide stiff competition for Le Querce, whose second branch has opened a few doors up the hill) and Buenos Aires Café which until recently must have thought the local steak crown was its for eternity.

That this may no longer be the case is down to its near neighbour Chapters raising the stakes (as it were) by shipping in a Josper grill. A Josper is a fiercely hot charcoal grill designed for serious meat grilling and (along with careful sourcing and some knockout cocktails) is the reason Hawksmoor remains such a favourite for an occasional treat.

The Chapters steak experience, though, will have to wait. Yesterday was all about brunch, a meal surely written into the restaurant's DNA: oversized, single-sheet menu of international breakfast classics? Check. Slick, dark furniture? Check. Mostly slick, darkly-clad staff? Check.

Happily, for the most part at least, Chapters delivers on its brunchy promise. Eggs florentine were a little sweet, perhaps, and the baked beans from the full English were pointlessly served in a separate ramekin, but these are minor quibbles. The breakfast itself was faultless, orange juice was properly fresh, tea and coffee were both good.

Chapters may yet prove to be worth a special trip from Brockley, particularly if they're buying meat to match the quality of the grill they've invested in. For now, it's a perfectly good local restaurant in a location ideally suited for its All Day Dining mantra.

And the walk's not bad either.

10 comments:

Westsider said...

At last, a picture of a fry-up on this site! Brockley Central is complete.

Brockley Nick said...

Thanks Ben, I've always thought Blackheath punched below its weight in terms of places to eat - but I will definitely give it a go.

Brockley Ben said...

@Westsider Plenty more where that came from

@Nick. I don't know if it's improved of late but it felt like there was a bit of a buzz about Blackheath generally yesterday. Of course the weather helped, but the market was good and busy (lots of meat) and Chapters was pretty solid. Looking forward to trying Le Querce 2 at some point...

Barf said...

Look at the pool of grease in the fold of bacon.

Tamsin said...

But lovely on bread.

I prefer eggs a bit more crispy and bubbled up round the edges. If this is a photo of the actual food they may have a super hot grill (the sausages at least looked properly cooked) but they need hotter fat to fry the eggs in.

Anonymous said...

That breakfast lovely, but it's a shame the style of posh eateries, i.e. a couple of small things in the middle of a large white plate, is starting to muscle in on the breakfast market. I'd want a bit more than that if I was going out somewhere special for a fry-up, and that's why Top Chef Cafe still gets my business.

Gerry said...

Baked beans go cold more quickly than other fry up ingredients (low specific heat capacity if I recall my GCSE physics correctly...) so I guess that's why they put them in a ramekin. So not completely pointless!

I'm hungry now.

Yummie said...

Chapters is great for young families too. Lots of room for buggies and plenty of other kids running around:)..

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good reason to stay away

Claret Badger said...

"plenty of other kids running around:).."

It's a restaurant, not a creche. If your kids are not well behaved enough to sit at the table, take them elsewhere and stop selfishly ruining other diners enjoyment.

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